Going it Mostly Alone: the Publishing Path of A Perfect Blindness
It’s now, at the level of Rising Star, that real institutional help kicks in. Which makes sense: the publisher finally knows it might actually make money selling the book, so they put more of their own money and time behind the book.
First, the Colophon changes again:
(from the back cover of A Perfect Blindness)
The size and general form remain from the Editor’s Choice level, but the blue ribbon icon changes back to a circle with a swoop rising up to a star dotting the i—in white on this book’s black cover, and the text changes to Rising Star. This new, more rarified image signals to potential readers, reviewers, and especially large buyers that this book is not only well written, but has an identifiable market, a way of reaching that market, and a writer willing to do what it takes to actually take the book to that market. All things bookstores and other large buyers want, and much of the additional support iUniverse gives the book now specifically augments this large buyer appeal.
The author gets access to their Special Recognitions Program professionals. My main contact there acts, to a limited degree, as an agent for A Perfect Blindness by preparing a sales package to be sent to Barnes and Nobel for them to consider stocking the paperback version in their physical stores. This is in addition to it already being offered in both paperback and Nook versions at Barnesandnoble.com. Any retail shop offering a special section for Rising Star titles will shelve the book in that exclusive location.
The book now gets industry standard discounts for stores, distribution through Ingram, as well as (for softcovers like A Perfect Blindness), enrolment in the Bookseller Return Program, which makes it vastly more likely a bookseller will stock the book in the first place—if a bookseller takes a risk on a new writer, they don’t want to get stuck with unsold copies of a dog. Further, the writer is insulated from the costs of any returns. Here iUniverse shares some of the risks associated with new writers with bookstores, without burdening the writer.
Further, iUniverse spends additional time and money on the book giving it professional art design on both the interior and exterior to assure the best possible look and adherence to industry standards, all of which furthers the book’s appeal to booksellers and reviewers.
Rising Star books also get publicity through the iUniverse social media accounts, thus iUniverse risks their own online credibility on the success of the book.
In addition to the book getting placement in a special Rising Star section of the iUniverse bookstore, with a Rising Star icon next to the title, iUniverse creates a marketing toolkit, which includes a sellsheet, and custom templates for business cards, bookmark and postcards. Perhaps the most importantly, at least for new writers, is that the author has continuing access to the book industry professionals to answer questions that come up regarding marketing and shepherding the book to Star status.
Fantastic: They’re putting real resources behind the book.
Yet, this is hardly the end of the work. Several more hurtles must be cleared before the book is even ready for release.
It begins to feel as if simply getting ready will never end.